Whether it’s depositing a check, looking up flight status information or seeking roadside assistance, mobile applications can be a consumer’s direct path to customer service and support.
Financial service companies offer apps for everything from checking balances to trading stocks and options. According to a study by the Boston-based Aite Group, approximately 7,000 U.S. financial institutions now offer mobile banking services, with 36 percent of U.S. smartphone users checking their account balances and one in six using applications to transfer funds, pay bills and view monthly statements.
Of course, many companies have charged into the mobile applications space to improve the customer experience and create efficiencies for customers and themselves. Airlines have developed apps to help customers check in for flights, download digital boarding passes, upgrade seat assignments, track flights, navigate airports and more. The Fly Delta app, for instance, helps fliers track checked luggage as they would track a package on a shipping company’s mobile platform.
Verizon Wireless saw the number of transactions on its wireless account management My Verizon Mobile application increase by 73 percent between 2011 and 2012. Through the recently upgraded app, customers can perform numerous functions including upgrade their mobile device, change plans and features, view and pay bills, manage usage alerts, suspend and restore service and order accessories. They can also sign up for a Wireless Workshop at their local Verizon Wireless Communications Store to learn more about the many functions of their smartphone or tablet, or make an appointment with an in-store representative.
Verizon’s new My InfoZone Widget simplifies access to mobile account, device and support information for users of smartphones and tablets. The widget provides shortcuts to My Verizon Mobile and battery and storage status while offering support information and tips.
Gartner Research predicts that consumer-facing mobile app development will likely continue to outpace development of Web apps and application development in general through 2014. With U.S. consumers spending nearly twice as much time interacting with mobile applications than on the web, it only makes sense that they’ll be using apps to engage businesses more and more.